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Affiliating with the Fond du Lac Area Foundation

Why Working Together Makes Sense

The Fond du Lac Area Foundation’s commitment to the residents and communities of the greater Fond du Lac area and beyond includes a commitment to promoting philanthropy and allowing donors to target charitable giving at home. Establishing and providing affiliates with administrative and technical assistance is an effective component in carrying out that commitment.

Who establishes the affiliate?
In general, an affiliate can be established by an individual or volunteer group of individuals that has a vision for the future of their geographic area.


What type of affiliates are offered?
The Fond du Lac Area Foundation offers many ways to affiliate with our organization based on your needs. All affiliates utilize the Fond du Lac Area Foundation’s 501(c)3 status and have a lead foundation which has met National Standards for Community Foundations.


  • Regional affiliate – A regional affiliate is a community foundation operating under the umbrella of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. They have an volunteer advisory board, a continually growing list of funds, at least one competitive grant cycle, their own budget, and an annual report. Regional affiliates benefit from cost-efficient, centralized professional services, including donor relations and fund development, financial and investment management, administrative and technical expertise, and marketing resources. This frees up local leadership to focus on effective grantmaking and community outreach.
  • Community fund – A community fund is a part of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation’s Family of Funds. This type of fund allows individuals and groups to contribute time and money toward the betterment of a specific community. Each community fund has a volunteer advisory board comprised of local citizens who encourage the growth of the fund and, when the fund is able, oversee distributions in the form of grants. These grants are awarded to community projects and programs based on the most pressing needs of the specific community.
  • Supporting organization – Supporting organizations are separate legal entities under the Fond du Lac Area Foundation’s tax exemption who operate independently to fulfill their unique missions. We handle the regulatory oversight, including Form 990 tax returns, annual audits, governance, and administrative support.


What is the purpose of an affiliate?

The purpose of the affiliate is to attract gifts from individuals, families, businesses, private foundations, charitable trusts, civic associations, and nonprofit organizations for the exclusive benefit of a specified geographic area. Affiliation with the Fond du Lac Area Foundation allows donors to target charitable giving at home by building permanent endowments, the interest from which is used to help meet the communities or county’s ever-changing needs.


For tax purposes, the affiliate operates under the umbrella of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation.


Who decides how the income is distributed?
An advisory board composed of area residents reviews all grant requests and makes recommendations for grants from affiliate funds.


Who benefits from being an affiliate?
Affiliate Funds exclusively and perpetually benefit the county or community for which it was established. Grants from the fund(s) may assist charitable programs that address present and emerging community needs; focus support in a particular field such as education, human services, the arts, healthcare, or help support charitable organizations and institutions that provide services vital to the quality of life within the specified geographic area.


What are the benefits of affiliating with the Fond du Lac Area Foundation?

  • No need to set up a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization – avoid startup costs
  • Avoid the annual cost of an audit and preparation of 990 tax returns
  • No need to meet the IRS public support test – will qualify under the Foundation’s public charity status
  • No day-to-day administrative duties of gift receipting, donor records, fund accounting, grant tracking
  • No need to establish governing policies for investment, grant making, gift acceptance
  • Access to knowledgeable staff for questions, ideas, and technical assistance
  • Access to templates for brochures, flyers, and other materials
  • Assistance with planned giving
  • Pooled assets with other funds of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation allow for greater investment diversification


There is so much more we’d like for you to know. For more information and ideas on ways to integrate your financial planning with charitable giving, ask your financial advisor or contact the Foundation by email or phone at 920.921.2215.

Meet our Affiliates

Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation

Horicon Family of Funds

Oakfield Community Foundation

Waupun Community Fund

Ripon Community Fund

Sophia Transformative Leadership Partners